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How Will Rain, Wind and Other Weather Conditions Affect My Solar Panels?

Australia is blessed with a fairly temperate climate all year round. That’s what makes it such a great place to take advantage of residential solar panel installations. However, there are still conditions such as wind, rain and extreme heat that can have an impact on solar panel performance. Here’s what you need to know.

 

What are the best conditions for solar panels?

Unsurprisingly, most people get the most benefit from their solar panels during summer. When the skies are clear of clouds and the sun is shining, most solar systems will work to their peak capacity. The best time of day is generally between 10am – 4am, however during summer the days are longer. As a result, you might get an hour or two more of peak solar production during the day.

Some panels have better low light performance and are to start producing earlier in the day and into the late afternoon. This adds up to increased yield across the life of the system, so it is important to install a panel that has great low light performance.

 

Temperature

There is a common misconception that the hotter it is, the more solar energy you’ll produce. While you certainly need that bright sunlight for best results, too much heat can actually hinder your system’s performance. Most solar panels in Australia work best at around 25 degrees Celsius, provided the skies are clear.

You can check your solar panels for the temperature coefficient, which is essentially the percentage of performance you will lose with every degree over 25. The rate is generally 0.20 – 0.50, so you won’t notice an alarming difference in production.

For example, if it’s 30 degrees outside, you could expect to lose between 1% – 2.5% of productivity.

 

Cloudy conditions

Cloud cover certainly affects your solar system’s performance. This is because it obstructs the sunlight from reaching your panels, and therefore limits the amount of solar energy you can produce. On days where the cloud cover is thick, you can expect to lose up to 25% efficiency, especially if the clouds aren’t moving.

Windy conditions work in your favour when there are clouds around though, as the wind blows and moves the clouds. This at least gives you occasional bursts of sunlight between the clouds, so you may only lose around 10% efficiency. Ultimately, it depends on how much unaffected sunlight reaches your panels.

On cloudy days panels that have excellent low light performance can add to the system yield compared to standard panels.

 

Rain

Surprisingly, rain won’t affect your solar panels’ performance directly. In fact, regular rain helps to wash away grime, dust and other debris that may build up on your panels and diminish performance. So, in that sense, you don’t need to worry about rain reducing your output.

The issue with rainy conditions, though, is that you don’t get rain without clouds. Usually, when it’s raining, there’s a significant cloud cover which does affect performance. When it comes to rain, the best circumstance is a sun shower, where plenty of sunlight still reaches your panels.

 

Wind

Fortunately, the wind doesn’t really affect the performance of your solar panels either. As long as there’s direct sunlight hitting those panels, your production will still be high. However, much like rain, windy conditions need to be considered more broadly.

The wind won’t directly decrease performance, however, wind can affect your solar panels in the long term. Wind often blows dust and other debris onto your solar panels, meaning you might need to clean them more frequently.

In windy climates, you also need to ensure you’ve had the panels installed by a qualified professional. Not all solar panels lay flat against your roof – mounting is sometimes required to achieve the optimal angle. As such, severe winds can damage mounting frames and solar panels, especially if they’re not well installed.

 

Find the solar system that’s right for your climate

If you need help choosing the right type of solar panels and inverter, we’d love to help you out. A free consultation with SolarBright is the easiest way to find out exactly what you need. Not only will we analyse your existing energy consumption to recommend the right size of the solar system, but we’ll also suggest the best products for the local climate.

 

SolarBright is your local NSW solar installer, and we’ve got the local knowledge and best products to ensure you maximise the benefit of your panels. Book a free consultation today, and find out why so many satisfied customers love SolarBright.

Free Consultation - 1300 852 622


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